Doctor calls new EPA rule on asbestos a ‘death sentence’

15 Aug 2018 by under News

asbestos warning 100x100 Doctor calls new EPA rule on asbestos a death sentenceA Philadelphia doctor is calling the Environmental Protection Agency ()’s proposed new rule that would allow for new uses of cancer-causing asbestos a “death sentence.”

Arthur L. Frank, professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University and adviser to Philadelphia’s Air Pollution Control Board, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that EPA’s change of heart about the use of under the Trump administration is “nothing short of outrageous.”

Asbestos is a durable, fire resistant mineral that was widely used in insulation and fireproofing in buildings across the United States, as well as in shipbuilding, a major industry in Philadelphia. Its use was dramatically reduced before the turn of the century, but asbestos can still be found in older buildings. It poses serious health risks if asbestos is disturbed, either from working around products that contain asbestos, general wear and tear, or through renovation or demolition of older buildings.

Asbestos can cause the incurable and chronic lung disease asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a particularly lethal type of cancer that develops in the lining of internal organs, like the lungs or abdomen. The disease can lie dormant for up to 50 years. But once diagnosed, mesothelioma proves deadly in about 18 months.

The proposed EPA new rule would loosen restrictions that were placed on asbestos and allow new uses for the mineral, which is alarming since the carcinogenic fiber is banned in more than 60 countries including the United Kingdom because it poses such a danger to humans.

While the EPA says the review process that would accompany the new rule for asbestos would seek to protect consumers, many see it as another example of the Trump administration’s efforts to control federal agencies. Over the years, President Trump has lamented that the anti-asbestos movement was contrived by the mob, and that if asbestos hadn’t been stripped from the World Trade Centers, the towers would have never burned down.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

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